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Author Topic: First M-T Muley Trip  (Read 4622 times)

Offline klikboom

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First M-T Muley Trip
« on: September 11, 2017, 05:06:02 PM »
Me and my hunting buddy chase blacktails all fall every year and end up with forkies and spikes so instead of getting better we're trying out better hunting lands :)

I'm hoping to get some guidance from those of you that hunt the greener pastures of MT for rifle.
  • Current plan is to hunt Block Management land (BMM). I'm pouring over the BMM maps looking for land that has walk-in, with timbered ridges, that accepts reservations. Do you guys feel these are good requirements for a nice buck? I'm not looking for trophy but want a good size buck. What criteria did you use to select your first BMM when you were going blind?
  • Do you find that places without reservations get too much hunting pressure?
  • Will walk-in areas get me away from hunters? I like to hike for good deer and i love a heavy pack out so i want to use that to my advantage, from what I hear a lot of Montanians are so accustomed to easily getting deer they don't go the extra mile. On the contrary i am so used to going the extra mile for no deer.
  • I'm looking specifically at southern region 4 and region 5. This is because that fits the environment i'm after, (some timber and elevation change across the property. Mule deer production is lower for these areas vs open east country but i think timber breeds better bucks. Do you agree?
  • Property size: Problem i'm seeing is almost all ranch properties are pretty small. Is this a problem? Should i be pursuing the middle eastern large BLM public land blocks? National Forest? How many days do you typically book in a row for BMM, do you reserve the max three days?
  • Is it common that WA hunters in MT hunt BMM? If so do you typically stay in hotels, doesnt look like many BMM allow camping
  • What days are the best for rut? I've heard early/mid November so my current plan is Nov 12-19.
  • Lastly, are grizz a problem? I hunt black bear and dont think to much of it as long as i have a boom stick but I don't like Grizzlies. Well it's not that I have anything against Grizz, it's that I have something against getting mauled by a Grizzly,  and would prefer to avoid it in any and all circumstances.

Offline wooltie

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Re: First M-T Muley Trip
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2017, 10:23:50 PM »
tag

Offline Magnum_Willys

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Re: First M-T Muley Trip
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2017, 06:00:33 AM »
Make sure you have property line gps like onx.   Many BM are couple hour hunts not big areas - you may see 200 people have logged in during the season - many are bird hunters.  You can still get a big buck by blacktail standards.  22" is a shooter.  Stay in motel that time of year. If you want to go deep look national forest. Less deer but possible trophy. central Eastern MT pretty easy going gets tougher as you head west.

Keep eyes out for area of deep sage with a way to glass a couple miles of it.

Lots of game to see. Great state. Manage expectations enjoy the experience.

Offline Whitenuckles

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Re: First M-T Muley Trip
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2017, 10:15:11 AM »
I've hunted MT for the last 8 years. My biggest tip, don't shoot the first decent buck you see. There's lots of them out there, and every day will show you new bucks in the area. The week of Thanksgiving is the time we go every year, they are rutting hard and super dumb. Get a GPS chip and hunt hard. You'll do fine
GEAUX TIGERS

Offline Bigshooter

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Re: First M-T Muley Trip
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2017, 06:28:50 PM »
Further east.
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Offline NRA4LIFE

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Re: First M-T Muley Trip
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2017, 06:47:47 PM »
For shear volumes, I'd hunt area 7 ( I know it's a long drive).  The BLM lands have become somewhat crowded lately, but there are so many deer, it is a sure thing.  The BM ranches can be fantastic.
Look man, some times you just gotta roll the dice

So many free days, so few fish....

Offline klikboom

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Re: First M-T Muley Trip
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2017, 07:51:54 PM »
You guys don't seem to hang much value on the timber. Plenty of big bucks in open spaces then? I'll start shopping for the more eastern BMM's.

Offline jburkett

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Re: First M-T Muley Trip
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2017, 09:13:32 PM »
Tagging along
I don't always shoot big mule deer, but when I do, it's with a bow tech!

Offline opdinkslayer

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Re: First M-T Muley Trip
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2017, 07:12:26 AM »
If you want to see lots of deer go to the eastern part of the state. BM can be good if your in the right one and there are some sign in at the gate places that get overlooked. Don't overlook public land in the breaks area. It can get kinda nasty in some of it and not too many people like to crawl down in there and look in the nooks & crannies where the deer are.

It's a fun hunt just don't expect a giant you see in the mags or on tv although a 150-170 type buck is possible. We went 3 for 3 last year in 3 days and they were a 20" 4x4,22"3x3 & 24"4x4. Not huge but good respectable Montana bucks. I will be tagging along as head scout/camp cook this year with my sons,nephews & father in law as I applied in another state instead. We wall tent camped last year in late nov in the little belts for elk 1st and the breaks for deer the 2nd half of the trip. Weather was fine and camp is my preference. If it gets super cold then a motel is the best choice. Have fun & good luck.  :twocents: :tup:

Offline 300rum

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Re: First M-T Muley Trip
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2017, 07:25:11 AM »
I would try to find something at least an hour or so drive from a town.  An hour on gravel roads, so maybe 30+ miles (at least, more is better) from any town with more than a gas station and a casino (you will know the casino reference if you have spent much time in Montana).   

Make the weekend part of your travel, hunt during the week.  Good property gets pressure on the weekends.  Don't go on Veterans day weekend, everyone else does too.

Try to stay close to where you hunt.  During that time of year, a road that takes a 1/2 hour to drive to town can take three times that overnight with snow (bad) or rain (really, really, bad).  The weather is good for hunting, miserable for travel. 

The really good BM areas that are reservation only are already booked up for the rut with guys who go back to the same spot every year.  You may be able to get on a good ranch but they may put you on a "pasture" that isn't any good.     

Offline Southpole

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Re: First M-T Muley Trip
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2017, 07:34:26 AM »
Tagging along
$5 is a lot of money if you ain't got it

Offline Bigshooter

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Re: First M-T Muley Trip
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2017, 07:39:34 AM »
You guys don't seem to hang much value on the timber. Plenty of big bucks in open spaces then? I'll start shopping for the more eastern BMM's.

I'm sure its the blacktail hunter in you that wants to hunt timber.  I use to be the same way. 
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Obama lied and US Healthcare died!

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Offline Harbor_hunter

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Re: First M-T Muley Trip
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2017, 09:16:35 AM »
Tagging along too. Every year I say I'd like to go out of state, and then it never happens!  I think Montana deer hunting would be fun to try.  Sounds like plenty of deer.  We don't look for trophies, just a good time and the chance to fill tags.   Thanks to everyone who has shared info so far. 

Offline opdinkslayer

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Re: First M-T Muley Trip
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2017, 06:01:07 AM »
 Every year you talk about doing a hunt but don't is a year lost. Don't waste the young and vigorous ones procrastinating. Find a partner or two,save your money thru the year,apply and go. Montana is a bit more expensive but a great place to start if you want liberal seasons during the rut, see lots of deer and fill tags. Once you get bit by the bug you will be looking at different species and states and wondering why ya didn't do it sooner. :tup:

Offline blacktailhunter

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Re: First M-T Muley Trip
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2017, 11:43:31 AM »
Dinkslayer is right on with his answer.  Every year you say "next year I'm going and don't follow through" is a year missed and you never know when your health is going to turn.  Yes the cost is a little more but well worth the overall experience.

To answer the OP questions.  I've only been to Montana once and we exclusively hunted Block Management, saw plenty of animals just going that route and never saw hardly anyone else.  Just hopped sign in property to property. We stayed in a hotel in Havre, 1st couple of days would have been fine to camp but then a snow storm rolled in and I'm sure glad we had room. That place became miserable very fast.

Good luck in your research and have fun on your trip

Offline klikboom

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Re: First M-T Muley Trip
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2017, 10:02:23 AM »
Was browsing onx last night, that is a cool map program found lots and lots of BLM land and state land, looking near border of region 5 and region 7, draws have bushes and timber and some of the local summits as well. Looks like great deer country.

So there is a bunch of private "association" land surrounding some of these BLM areas, should I write a letter to the address they have on file requesting walk in hunt access? Do people do that?

I'm going to try to get a reservation or two if I can, found some smaller units. It is not too far from some major highways and towns but hoping it's not too busy for weekday hunting.

Is there any way to pick up a second meat deer via doe tag? I'd really like to stock up on meat. I see there are some deer B licenses left but that appears to be a totally different license.

Offline fishsticks

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Re: First M-T Muley Trip
« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2017, 11:36:17 AM »
Was browsing onx last night, that is a cool map program found lots and lots of BLM land and state land, looking near border of region 5 and region 7, draws have bushes and timber and some of the local summits as well. Looks like great deer country.

So there is a bunch of private "association" land surrounding some of these BLM areas, should I write a letter to the address they have on file requesting walk in hunt access? Do people do that?

I'm going to try to get a reservation or two if I can, found some smaller units. It is not too far from some major highways and towns but hoping it's not too busy for weekday hunting.

Is there any way to pick up a second meat deer via doe tag? I'd really like to stock up on meat. I see there are some deer B licenses left but that appears to be a totally different license.

If you don't already have it, call fish wildlife and parks to get a copy of the current block management book.  It's also online; but it explains block management, the types of access, where it is and how to gain access.

Offline Wingin it

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Re: First M-T Muley Trip
« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2017, 12:21:31 PM »
Some B tags can be purchased OTC and some are draws. You will have to determine what area you want to hunt first and then look at the regulations.

Offline klikboom

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Re: First M-T Muley Trip
« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2017, 11:40:04 AM »
Was browsing onx last night, that is a cool map program found lots and lots of BLM land and state land, looking near border of region 5 and region 7, draws have bushes and timber and some of the local summits as well. Looks like great deer country.

So there is a bunch of private "association" land surrounding some of these BLM areas, should I write a letter to the address they have on file requesting walk in hunt access? Do people do that?

I'm going to try to get a reservation or two if I can, found some smaller units. It is not too far from some major highways and towns but hoping it's not too busy for weekday hunting.

Is there any way to pick up a second meat deer via doe tag? I'd really like to stock up on meat. I see there are some deer B licenses left but that appears to be a totally different license.

If you don't already have it, call fish wildlife and parks to get a copy of the current block management book.  It's also online; but it explains block management, the types of access, where it is and how to gain access.

What i was trying to say is the private land is not block management land, just private land with a published owner.

Offline klikboom

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Re: First M-T Muley Trip
« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2017, 09:23:49 AM »
Made two two-day reservations for different BMM, takes care of Monday-Thursday and thinking thurs-Sunday maybe just hitting other public land (blm/state) as needed.

Offline opdinkslayer

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Re: First M-T Muley Trip
« Reply #20 on: September 19, 2017, 02:24:36 PM »
Beings you said in the OP that you are BT hunters usually killing spikes & forkies, you guys will be lucky to stay off the trigger long enough to make it 4 days. :chuckle: :tup: It will be a blast for ya just don't put too much pressure yourselves. Should be lots of deer and lots of opportunity to put your tags on one.

Offline JLS

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Re: First M-T Muley Trip
« Reply #21 on: September 19, 2017, 02:27:34 PM »
Send me a PM if you want and I'll see if I can help you out.  I don't want to discuss specifics in this thread.
Matthew 7:13-14

Offline klikboom

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Re: First M-T Muley Trip
« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2017, 05:37:57 PM »
Haha that's what I was thinking! I'm already having dreams about it. I dreamt I shot a wide 4pt then ran up to it, it was super wide and all the points were 1" tall. I was like "nooooooo. It's just a dream. It's just a dream. It's just a dream."

Offline opdinkslayer

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Re: First M-T Muley Trip
« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2017, 07:11:41 PM »
Just pray you don't get snow and -20 like we did our first go around. We still got deer but it wasn't fun by any means. Last years mild temps and light winds were perfect. :tup:

Offline dune

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Re: First M-T Muley Trip
« Reply #24 on: September 28, 2017, 01:29:41 PM »
Don't worry - 20 in MT is like 30 above here just bring warm clothing

 

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